Please Do Squeeze the Tumor Cell
This article was originally published in Start Up
A team at UCLA used nanomechanics to show that tumor cells are significantly more elastic than normal cells, suggesting that stiffness can accurately distinguish them from normal cells. The technique could be readily adopted in pathology labs to improve the accuracy of traditional cytology analysis using standard sample preparation and processing. Moreover, there may be an immediate opportunity to use it to diagnose mesothelioma, which is not now possible using visual analysis.
You may also be interested in...
Mass General has signed a $30 million deal with two units of J&J to develop a new system for capturing and analyzing circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The collaboration aims to develop a standardized diagnostic platform for biomarker analysis of DNA, RNA, or protein from tumor cells collected noninvasively. J&J will take the indications for its current CTC system, CellSearch, and migrate them to the new platform.
In cancer diagnostics skepticism and optimism exist side by side. This is evident from a growing dichotomy between the spurt of early research projects, fueled by new technologies and increased government spending, and the lack of investor interest. Despite a brutal financing market and past disappointments, a few start-ups determined to address the field's unmet needs are pursuing development of new markers and detection technologies and gaining momentum.
Pilot program would get around the ‘one drug, one test’ policy, which has created intellectual property issues.